Many days, you probably open up the newspaper in the morning and think “my goodness, what is with this wall-to-wall coverage of America’s nearly non-existent poverty?” No? In that case you’ve just outed yourself as not being Eric Hovde, a Republican candidate for Senate in Wisconsin. Speaking to a local Chamber of Commerce Friday, Hovde bemoaned the media’s alleged lack of coverage of topics like the deficit, concluding:
“I see a reporter here. I just pray that you start writing about these issues. I just pray. Stop always writing about, ‘Oh, the person couldn’t get, you know, their food stamps or this or that.’ You know, I saw something the other day—it’s like, another sob story, and I’m like, ‘But what about what’s happening to the country and the country as a whole?’ That’s going to devastate everybody.”
Hovde’s spokesman later insisted that what the candidate meant was that the media needed to spend more time on examination of policy rather than human-interest stories, which would be a much more convincing claim if Hovde had segued from a discussion of social services and job creation into a plea for policy analysis rather than from a discussion of national debt into a plea for the media not to write “sob stories” about food stamps. Now, Hovde isn’t an elected official. He’s just “the rich guy who’s forced himself into the four-way conversation in the Wisconsin GOP primary through nonstop advertising,” in David
Nir’s Jarman’s words.
Mentions of unemployment have been dwindling since they spiked to 154 in the month ending August 15, 2010; over the month ending Sunday, there were 63. Deficit mentions, meanwhile, surged up to 261 in the month ending December 15, 2010 [...]
More likely [than being a result of slightly declining unemployment], the broadening gap demonstrates just how effective conservatives have been at changing the narrative of economic policy from one dominated by talk of fiscal stimulus to one now in lockstep with notions of fiscal austerity.
Win or lose his Senate primary in Wisconsin, win or lose the general election, Eric Hovde and his nonstop advertising are part of the broader campaign to put business interests, not working people’s and unemployed people’s interests, at the center of the national economic conversation.